In a significant development for betting enthusiasts, Nevada sportsbooks have recently been given the green light to include esports odds without having to receive explicit approval for each event from state gaming regulators. This decision was made by the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) with the backing of the state’s Esports Technical Advisory Committee and the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB).
The newly approved regulation, known as 2022-07R, now classifies esports alongside traditional sports events. As a result, Nevada sportsbooks can now accept wagers on esports events, with the same rules and regulations that govern traditional sports betting.
With the license to host an expanded list of events, licensed sportsbooks are expected to meet certain “due diligence” requirements, a condition attached with this expansion.
Dr. Brittnie Watkins, a member of the NGCB, described the updated regulations as “important to our industry.” She believes these changes will bolster wagering volume and create potential opportunities for the success of gaming.
NGC’s decision was, in fact, unanimous, though a minor modification to the regulation was made by the three-member agency.
Previously, sportsbooks had to file requests to include bets on esports events, adding a layer of unnecessary administrative workload. Now, they can promptly list any sanctioned esports tournament on their betting sheets.
NGC also aligned with the NGCB and esports experts, suggesting that sportsbooks were sufficiently skilled to decide whether an esports event qualifies for legal betting.
However, the commission decided against one recommendation concerning esports “doping.” The NGCB had proposed that sportsbooks confirm with tournament organizers whether anti-doping measures were in place. The commission rejected this, arguing it would tie up staff in communication with event organizers and could potentially reduce esports events being listed, leading to a suppressed betting market.
In terms of industry size, esports in the U.S. is a booming sector that’s set to grow exponentially. According to a report by Cognitive Market Research, the esports market will increase from its current worth of $1.5 billion to nearly $4.5 billion by 2030, a growth rate of around 18%.
This projected growth is attributed to major players, such as Microsoft’s Xbox, which have initiated partnerships to expand their influence in esports. Evolving technology that allows esports to be played on additional platforms is also expected to fuel this anticipated expansion.
The study foresees a considerable hike in the esports market’s income, as activities related to online gaming gain popularity. Primarily due to the allure of potentially winning real money, more players are getting attracted to esports. Some go on to build full-time careers through competition participation. This growth trend is expected to continue with measures being taken by key players to increase the number of esports participants.